3 national journalism honors awarded to Sun-Times staffers

Top reporting honors in the National Headliner Awards went to Tim Novak, Lauren FitzPatrick and Caroline Hurley and to Stephanie Zimmermann and Tom Schuba. Neil Steinberg was recognized for best local columns.

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The National Headliner Awards

The National Headliner Awards

Chicago Sun-Times staffers have won three top prizes in the National Headliner Awards, which “honor the best journalism in the United States.”

The honors, announced Wednesday, went to:

• Tim Novak, Lauren FitzPatrick and Caroline Hurley, first place for local news beat coverage in a top 20 media market, for stories the contest judges wrote “used data journalism to expose flawed policies” in the Cook County assessor’s office.

• Neil Steinberg, first place for local interest column on a variety of subjects, for a selection of three columns. The judges wrote: “Steinberg is a lovely writer whose columns have a strong voice and unique point of view, from reminding us of another time when disinformation put us all in danger to an obituary that made us laugh” — of Gizmo, “the cat that broke things.”

• Stephanie Zimmermann and Tom Schuba, first place for business news coverage, for reporting on “What’s in Illinois’ legal weed?” The judges called it “a blend of strong consumer and business reporting” and wrote: “Through extensive reporting and testing, the reporters found legal marijuana being sold sometimes contained contaminants mold, yeast and bacteria and did not meet the label’s potency promise.”

The National Headliner Awards are given by the Press Club of Atlantic City, which describes the competition as “one of the oldest and largest annual contests in the country recognizing journalistic merit.”

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